Baker’s cysts can be painful, mostly when bending the knee. They are swellings which form on the back of the knee. About 94 percent of these cysts are associated with an intra- articular disorder, aka cartilage tears, along with osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, and ACL tears.
In half of healthy adult knees, there is a valvular opening which is located on the inside of the knee joint that connects the capsule to a bursa, or fluid filled sac. When there is swelling inside this joint, all of that fluid flows one way to the inner knee joint bursa, and reduces pressure from the inside joint. This is the most common cause of these cysts.
Did you know that chiropractors can help treat baker’s cysts? We use passive and active care that targets the knee joint and other soft tissues to reduce pain, swelling, and even improve function. We also use home exercise to maintain long term. Here are some exercises you can do at home for your Baker’s cyst:
- Standing calf stretch: step back with your leg and flatten the heel to the floor as much as possible, and straighten the bent knee until you feel a firm stretch
- Heel lift: sit with flat feet on the floor, bend the knees 90 degrees, lift one heel while keeping the ball of the foot on the floor, push down on the knee and slowly lower the heel to the starting position
- Sitting hamstring stretch: sit on the ground with one leg straigh out, keep the heel on the floor, bend the ankle and bring toes towards you, arch your low back until you feel the stretch
- Heel Slides: lie on your back with straight legs, bend one knee and slide the heel towards your buttocks
- Wall squats: stand with your back against the wall and slide down slowly, keep the toes in front of the knees
- Side-steps: Place a resistance band around your knees, bend them, step sidewayssm and alternate between the right and left foot.